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Hoover Pierce 1999 Tanks on the Side Sport Diver vol 7 no 5 October p 26 While diving especially in caverns divers encounter very narrow horizontal openings which they must pass in order to continue in the cave system Unhooking the tank from the BC and pushing it a head of you is not always the safest way to go through an opening where you dont quite fit There is a new system that allows divers to carry tanks with them and not effect their hand availability or their vertical size This method is called side mounting Side mounting places the divers tanks at the side of the body and under the arms thus reducing the divers front-to-back profile to less than a foot for most divers British sump divers were among the first to perfect the side-mounting system To reach the submerged and deep portions of a cave known as sumps the diver is often required to waddle or clamber over slick or jagged rock floors With 100 pound double sized tanks on their back this could be very dangerous So the divers would carry the tanks through the dry portions of the cave and just attach it to their weight belt when they get to the dangerous portion of the cave The next phase in the side-mounting history came when Americans began using side-mounted tanks to squeeze into low or narrow underwater cave passages too confined for traditional double-tank rigs Now a new system promises to bring side mounting into the mainstream of diving technology Dive Rite a huge manufacturer of diving equipment has developed a method of attaching tanks to the side of their popular TransPac This is making diving easier for many cave divers such as those with back problems This article outlines one diver Jim Fishback who has back problems and cannot where double tanks Side mounting allows Jim to carry the tanks easier to the site
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